Int’l Court of Justice Rules Genocide Plausible: Netanyahu & Biden Losing Support

International Court of Justice (Courtesy of Al Jazeera)

January 30, 2024

Israel, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not defeating Hamas, it is exterminating Palestinians. In his full scale assault on Gaza, and to a lesser extent, the West Bank, Netanyahu is failing just as he did prior to the October 7, 2023, massacre by Hamas, when he was unsuccessful in protecting Israel. His war on Hamas will not succeed. Israel has yet to make further progress in freeing the remaining hostages since the weeklong hostage for prisoner exchange last year. Due to the growing political isolation of the U.S. and Israel, there attempts underway, so far unsuccessful, to establish a two month pause in the military campaign by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).

On January 26, the International Court of Justice (ICJ), issued the first condemnation and warning to Israel. Although it did not accuse Israel of genocide or call for a cease fire, it validated the legitimacy of the allegations by the government of South Africa. (See text of ICJ’s decision). A full reading of the court’s decision clearly shows that claims of genocide are plausible.

The ruling by the ICJ, in its closing section: VI. CONCLUSION AND MEASURES TO BE ADOPTED, contains the following:

Paragraph 75 reads: The Court concludes on the basis of the above considerations that the conditions required by its Statute for it to indicate provisional measures are met. It is therefore necessary, pending its final decision, for the Court to indicate certain measures in order to protect the rights claimed by South Africa that the Court has found to be plausible-(see paragraph 54 above).

Paragraph 54 reads: In the Court’s view, the facts and circumstances mentioned above are sufficient to conclude that at least some of the rights claimed by South Africa and for which it is seeking protection are plausible. This is the case with respect to the right of the Palestinians in Gaza to be protected from acts of genocide and related prohibited acts identified in Article III, and the right of South Africa to seek Israel’s compliance with the latter’s obligations under the Convention.

The findings by the International Court of Justice, which is an arm of the United Nations, is instructing Israel to take actions to prevent genocide of the Palestinians living in Gaza.  (Read: The ICJ’s Ruling on Genocide Is Actually a Gamechanger)

Public hearings in South Africa’s genocide case against Israel began at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands on January 11, 2024.  (Photo: Selman Aksunger/Anadolu via Getty Images) (Courtesy of commondreams.org)

Genocide in Effect

Genocide is defined as a crime committed with the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group in whole or in part.

The challenge to proving genocide is to demonstrate intent. In the case of Netanyahu’s war against the people of Gaza, we have sufficient evidence to prove genocide in effect.

  • In the 3.5 months, since the Hamas massacre of October 7, 2023, the IDF, has become infamous for killing the greatest number of civilians, mostly women and children, in the shortest period of time. In 3.5 months, Israel has accomplished the following:
  • 26,000 Palestinians (that we know of) have been killed in Gaza. That is more than 1% of the total population of 2.2 million. This does not count the Palestinians also killed by Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers on the West Bank.
  • 63,000 Palestinians have been wounded, the majority women and children.
  • According to  ReliefWeb, 10,000 children have had their lives snuffed out.
  • The United Nations reports that every hour, two Palestinian mothers lose their lives. An estimated 6,000 mothers have been killed.

By comparison, in the 23-month long war, Ukraine, with a population of     36.7 million, has suffered the following casualties according to reporting  from the United Nations:

  • 10,242, Ukrainians have lost their lives.
  • 575 Ukrainian children have been killed.
  • 19,300 Ukrainians have been injured, including 1,264 children.

Do the math. The duration of war in Ukraine is more than six times longer than Gaza, and Ukraine’s population is sixteen times bigger. The rate of death of Palestinian children by Israeli troops, under orders from Netanyahu, is unprecedented.

The IDF claims that 9,000 members of Hamas have been killed. Even if we take these figures at face value, almost twice as many innocent Palestinian civilians have been killed in the war in Gaza than Hamas fighters.

Palestinian women walk by buildings destroyed in Israeli airstrikes in Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza Strip, October 16, 2023. © 2023 Hatem Moussa/AP Photo (Courtesy of hrw.org)

As disease, lack of potable water, and hunger spreads to a displaced population, more women and children will perish. It should be clear to anyone who understand the rudiments of demography: the effect will be a reduction in the rate of procreation of the  Palestinian people. Thus, decreasing the number of Palestinians living today and in the future.

Biden’s Self Inflicted Wound

President Biden is losing support from within his own Democratic Party and an increasing number of Americans, who oppose his blanket military and political support for Netanyahu’s war against Palestinians. The relentless bombardment of apartment buildings, houses, refugee camps, United Nations facilities, and hospitals has made Gaza not only the most dangerous place in the world, but a death zone for a desperate and displaced  population. No matter how much Biden’s advisors and press people try to spin it, the Biden administration has the blood of thousands of innocent Palestinians civilians on his hands.

When President Biden rushed to Israel to “bear hug” Netanyahu on October 18, 2023, eleven days after the Hamas attack, and pledged full U.S. support o for Israel’s war, he had already sealed his fate. Recently, President Biden has issued statements of disagreement with Netanyahu’s conduct of the war and his rejection of a Two State Solution, but President Biden gas failed to extricate himself from “the hug.”  

President Biden’s immoral support for Netanyahu’s slaughter of Palestinians has been challenged by large demonstrations across the U.S., threatened walkouts by Congressional aids, and letters of protest against the war from the President’s staff and his presidential election campaign committee for 2024. More than once, Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has had to meet with dissident members of the State Department who oppose blanket U.S. support for Israel. Increasing numbers of young voters, a critical section of the voting population that Democrats are counting on to win the 2024 election, oppose U.S. backing for the war.

“The Hug.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with US President Joe Biden (Indiatvnews.com)

Last week more serious cracks appeared, when eighteen U.S. Senators from Biden’s party signed as co-sponsors to legislation to condition aid to Israel on their compliance (or lack of) with international humanitarian law. The New York Times reports that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) estimates about half of the 51 Democratic and independent senators would vote for such a measure on the floor. Earlier in the week the Senate tabled a motion sponsored by ten Democratic Senators to link aid to human rights abuses by Israel.

This election year, President Biden will need all the support he can get to be reelected, while Democrats will attempt to maintain control of the Senate, and not lose ground in the House of Representatives. In Michigan, a battleground state in this year’s presidential election,

Arab Americans are already distancing themselves from President Biden’s presidential campaign.

President Biden’s full backing to Israel, a nation which Americans witness killing innocent women and children every day, and wiping out entire families, will be a factor in the minds of voters when they go to the polls this November.

Photo/Eskinder DebebeTrucks carrying humanitarian aid wait to cross into Gaza from Egypt through Rafah. (Courtesy of the U.N.)

Netanyahu Was Always No Good

Netanyahu is using the war to remain in power as prime minister. The continued assault on the people of Gaza is his “re-election campaign.” No progress has been made since the earlier prisoner exchange two months ago. However, as the families of the hostages ramp up the pressure, Netanyahu, a conniving politician, is maneuvering to continue his grasp as leader of an increasingly isolated Israel.

If one looks back at Netanyahu’s history, it is clear that he always opposed peace with the Palestinians in Gaza and the West bank. How pathetically foolish it is for President Biden to believe that Netanyahu will be a dependable partner in establishing a Two State Solution. Not only has he recently, and repeatedly stated his opposition to a self-governed Gaza, but his real desire is to rid Gaza of Palestinians by murder or driving them out. Let us acknowledge what honest Jews and non-Jews alike know: Netanyahu will not be a reliable partner for peace with an independent Palestinian state.

Netanyahu has not changed his anti-Palestinian views in twenty years. Two decades ago, Netanyahu bitterly opposed the efforts to create peace with Palestine by Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, a true Israeli statesman. Rabin, a former military professional, and commander of the Six Day War died a warrior for peace after signing the Oslo Accords of 1993 and 1995. Rabin accused Netanyahu of in effect working with Hamas to prevent the signing of the peace  accords. The assassin of Rabin came from the extremist Jewish right-wing, who’s orbit was supported by Netanyahu’s Likud Party. Netanyahu vehemently opposed the peace accords and did not object when his Likud Party called Rabin a traitor for striving to create peace with Yassir Arafat. Leah Rabin had to force herself to shake Netanyahu’s hand at her husband’s funeral, because of the scurrilous campaign waged by him and the Likud Party against Rabin’s quest for peace.

Is President Biden capable of separating himself from the clutches of Netanyahu? The future of Israel, Palestine, and world peace may depend on it.

Below, watch Naledi Pandor, Minister of South Africa, on the ruling by International Court of Justice.

Read my earlier post: Netanyahu Must Leave Office for the Future Existence of Israel, Palestine, & Good of Humanity

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. Mr. Freeman strongly believes that economic development is an essential human right. He is also the creator of the blog:  lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com

Netanyahu Must Leave Office for the Future Existence of Israel, Palestine, & Good of Humanity

(Curtesy of drishtiias.com)

December 24, 2023

This article is my Christmas gift to Jews, Muslims ad Christians suffering around the world today.

The Angels heralded the birth of Jesus Christ, “peace on earth and good will to men” ( Luke 2:14). His birth in Bethlehem, Palestine, over 2,000 years ago, was to bring a new epoch for humankind, imbued with agape- love. Today, Gaza, Palestine, is a “Living Hell.”

Following the brutal killing and kidnapping of innocent Israelis by Hamas on October 7, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has launched an all-out war against the Palestinians living in Gaza. Thousands of tons of munitions are being dropped on Gaza by the Israeli Defense (IDF) including 2,000 pound “dumb bombs” (unguided), which cause maximum damage on civilian targets. The indiscriminate relentless bombardment of hospitals, refugee camps, schools , churches, apartment buildings, for 11 weeks, except for a 1 week pause,  has created a “Hell on Earth” for Gazans, on the eve of the celebration of the birth of Christ.

Innocent civilians are being herded like animals to southern Gaza, where they are also bombed. According to the United Nations, 576,000 Gazans face extreme hunger-26% of the population. Over 80%-1.8 million of Gaza’s population of 2.2 million people are displaced with nowhere to go. Lack of clean water, food, electricity, and basic health services is turning the Gaza strip into an equivalent of an open-air, concentration camp* without the barbed wire. Over 20,000 Palestinians have been killed and 53,000 wounded by Netanyahu and the IDF, in less than two months-averaging 2,000 deaths per week of combat. The majority have been women and children. Over 8,000 Palestinian children have had their lives snuffed out before they could experience what life is. That number will rise from the continued bombing assaults, scant medical provisions and services, and the lack of conditions on the ground to support human life. Thus, we are rapidly approaching the elimination of 1% of Gaza’s population. Palestinians living in Gaza are undergoing population reduction, and Netanyahu wants to depopulate the Palestinians living in  Gaza; dead or alive.

The mentality of Israel’s war cabinet and military is so crazed, that the IDF ignored a white flag, the international recognized signal for surrender, raised by three Israeli hostages, and opened fire on them. Killing them despite shouts for help in Hebrew by one hostage.

Israel is attempting to protect itself from blame for slaughtering thousands of innocent civilians in Gaza with the shield of antisemitism. In Washington DC, officials of both parties fall over themselves accusing anyone who criticizes the state of Israel as an antisemite. Yes, antisemitism exists, I have been the victim of it, but Israel is the only nation whose actions cannot be challenged without being clubbed as an antisemite. This protection racket must end.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Netanyahu Must Go

The citizens of Israel made a grave mistake returning Netanyahu to power as prime minister. The Hamas attack on October 7, exposed the complete failure of Netanyahu and his cabinet to protect Israel, despite boasting of their intelligence and military prowess. This includes having in their possession the plans by Hamas for their invasion against Israel for over a year.

Some of my Jewish friends who dislike Netanyahu, Gaza, asked me: how should Israel have responded to the October 7th attack? My answer is clear: recognize that the policy of occupation of Gaza and the West Bank,  by Israel has been an unmitigated failure. And now is the time to rethink the future of Israel and Palestine. The first step is to remove Netanyahu from office. He is not capable of protecting Israel citizens. Secondly, returning to the basic principles of the Oslo Accords of 1993-1995,as a preliminary starting point for a new approach to peace in the region.

Netanyahu is a racist and antisemite against the Arab people. He is not shy about is desire to drive Palestinians out of Gaza and expand Jewish settlements to populate the West Bank. At the beginning of the IDF offensive, Netanyahu wanted to force Egypt to accept Palestinians as part of an “ethnic cleansing” of Gaza. Netanyahu is on record opposing a unified Palestinian state. It is well documented that for many years Netanyahu has facilitated the transfer of funds to Hamas to enable their independence from the Palestine Liberation Organization  (PLO). This was done, as he admits, to weaken the PLO and prevent a unified Palestinian effort for an independent Palestinian state.

Netanyahu has always opposed the creation of an independent Palestinian nation, and to the apparent dismay of the Biden administration, still opposes a Two State solution today.

As well-informed Jews know but may not want to admit: Netanyahu is spitting on the noble philosophical tradition of Jewish history and culture. That includes his rejection of: Philo of Judea, a contemporary of Jesus (20 BCE-50 CE); Moses Maimonides (1138-1204); Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786); and Yitzhak Rabin (1922-1995).

Al-Shifa Hospital Complex, Gaza (Courtesy news.sky.com)

Carnage Does Not Beget Peace

For example. Examine the unnecessary murderous assault on the al- Shifa hospital. The largest, best equipped medical facility in Gaza, which in addition to caring for hundreds of patients also provided shelter to crowds of Palestinians seeking refuge from Israeli bombs raining down on them. Thousands of displaced Palestinians and civilians in need of medical care and protection sheltered in and around this complex of buildings.

Netanyahu and the IDF propagandized that underneath al-Shifa was a military hub of Hamas. These unsubstantiated allegations were shamelessly repeated by every U.S. official, and public spokesperson, including President Biden. To this day, weeks after the November 15th assault, Israel has had the opportunity to display proof, yet no evidence has been presented. Requests for more conclusive evidence from both U.S. and Israeli officials have been stonewalled with claims of “classified information.”  All that has been disclosed so far is a network of tunnels under the hospital complex, which exists almost everywhere throughout Gaza.

According to a December 21 article in The Washington Post, all that was revealed by the Israeli government was:

  • The rooms connected to the tunnel network discovered by IDF troops showed no immediate evidence of military use by Hamas.
  • None of the five hospital buildings identified appeared to be connected to the tunnel network.
  • There is no evidence that the tunnels could be accessed from inside hospital wards.

The Post reports that medical facilities are afforded special protection — even in times of war — losing their status only “while they are being used outside their medical function to commit acts harmful to the enemy,” according to Adil Haque, a law professor at Rutgers University.

The IDF siege and attack on al-Shifa resulted in hundreds of deaths.

Palestinians inspect the damage of buildings destroyed by Israeli air strikes on Jabalia refugee camp on the outskirts of Gaza City on October 31, 2023 [Abdul Qader Sabbah/AP Photo] (Courtesy Aljazeera.com)

Civilian Punishment Will Fail 

Robert Pape writing in Foreign Affairs magazine (12/6/23), makes several valid observations in his article, Israel’s Failed Bombing Campaign in Gaza: Collective Punishment Won’t Defeat Hamas.

Carpet bombing campaigns are unsuccessful throughout history. They tend to increase the resolve of the population to reist. The disproportionate numbers of Hamas fighters killed compared to the number of Palestinian civilians, will only intensify their belief that Israel wants to eliminate their existence in Gaza.

Pape writes: Israel is almost certainly producing more terrorists than it is killing, since each dead civilian will have family and friends eager to join Hamas to exact revenge. Mass civilian punishment has not convinced Gaza’s residents to stop supporting Hamas. To the contrary, it has only heightened resentment among Palestinian

According to some experts, for every Palestinian murdered, two-five Palestinians will become new recruits for Hamas. The brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers, who watched their families and, especially their children perish, will seethe with hatred of Israel for years, decades, and quite possibly generations. Thus, the current indiscriminate or maybe intentional mass deaths of Palestinians is sowing the seeds for continued armed conflict, not security.

Pape continues: …a vast portion of the more than 500,000 Palestinian men between the ages of 18 and 34 are now ripe recruits for Hamas or other Palestinian groups seeking to target Israel and its civilians…

There is every reason to think that Israel’s renewed military occupation of Gaza—“for an indefinite period,” according to Netanyahu—will lead to a new, perhaps larger wave of suicide attacks against Israeli civilians.

Netanyahu and the IDF murdering innocent civilians by the tens of thousands will not eliminate Hamas or prevent Hamas 2.0 from emerging. They should have learned from history: you cannot defeat an ideology through kinetic warfare.

Children play in a charred car-people queue for bread in front of a bakery partially destroyed by Israeli strike, Nuseirat refugee camp, Gaza Strip, on Nov. 2, 2023 (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS/AFP) (english.aawsat.com)

A New Mind-Set Needed

As long as Netanyahu remains in power there will be no Two State solution. There will be no peace and no future security for Israel. That much is clear, but his removal alone will not resolve the conflict.

The only long-term basis for security for these two Semitic cultures is to establish a common aim that is in the long term interest of both Israelis and Palestinians.

How do achieve this?

We start with the fact that we are all human beings and are all more alike than different. The universal principle that bonds us uniquely as the human race is, we are the only species with a mind capable of creative imagination. No other living creature or non-living machine is capable of producing creative thought. This makes every human life sacred and every child precious. Human beings, unlike animals, have the ability to think about and act on the present for the future. All human beings have the same aspirations for their children and grandchildren, to live a better life than their parents.

There is no easy resolution to this long-standing conflict, except to act in a way that would normally be considered impossible. Let us stand on the shoulders of history to obtain security and peace for future generations of Palestinians and Israelis.

In Europe during the first half of the 17th century, eight million people during died in the Thirty Years War, which ended with the famous 1648 Treaty of Westphalia.

 Article 1 of the treaty stipulated: That this Peace and Amity be observ’d and cultivated with such a Sincerity and Zeal, that each Party shall endeavour to procure the Benefit, Honour and Advantage of the other;

Article 2 stipulated: That there shall be on the one side and the other a perpetual Oblivion, Amnesty, or Pardon of all that has been committed since the beginning of these Troubles…

To wit: each belligerent must act for the benefit of the other, and all crimes committed in the past must be forgotten and pardoned. It will be hard for the belligerents to acknowledge and accept these principles, but there is no other path forward, except more suffering, more killing and more bloodshed.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat(courtesy of peacelink.it)

Israel and Palestine should move in the direction of the process of the Oslo Accords (1993-1995) with an emphasis on fulfilling the common aims of both people. This will require a joint economic development program using the talents and resources of both peoples and nations, for the long-term benefits of future generations. Prejudices do not die quickly, but by acting in the interest of the other, they can be diminished over time.

We have just passed the 30th anniversary of the historic handshake in Washington DC on September 13, 1993, between Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman, Yasser Arafat. It was a torturously conflicted handshake for Prime Minister Rabin, who previously viewed Chairman Arafat, as a mortal enemy.

Not surprisingly, then leader of the Likud Party, Benjamin Netanyahu, led the opposition to the extraordinary peace agreement between Arafat and Rabin.

The opposition’s response was shrill; from the start its leaders charged Rabin with endangering the country, and even with perfidy. Benjamin Netanyahu told [Rabin’s ally] Foreign Minister Shimon Perez in a Knesset debate: ‘You are much worse than the British prime minister Neville Chamberlain, because Chamberlain threatened the security and freedom of another nation, while you are threatening the security and freedom of your own nation.’ A newspaper advertisement run by the opposition parties—and approved by Netanyahu, according to daily Ha’aretz newspaper—said ‘The people rise up against the treason of the of the Rabin…We are not prepared to obey the laws of the government. (Horovitz)

Yitzhak Rabin, a soldier of war, who became a warrior for peace (courtesy historica.fandom.com)

Let us emulate the transformation of former Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, who was a commander in the Israel’s wars of 1948 and 1967, but lost his life tragically, as a warrior for peace. He was killed in 1995, by a right-wing Jewish fanatic, who opposed Rabin’s commitment to peace with Palestine.

(The author grew up in a liberal Jewish household in New York City, and has dedicated his life to fighting for justice, economic progress, and defense of oppressed people world-wide).

*Concentration Camp: a place where large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities.

Horovitz, David, (1996) Shalom, Friend-The Life and Legacy of Yitzhak Rabin, Newmarket Press.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. Mr. Freeman strongly believes that economic development is an essential human right. He is also the creator of the blog:  lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com